Hakka has been made an official national language after the Legislative Yuan yesterday passed amendments to the Hakka Basic Act (客家基本法).
According to the amendment, townships in which Hakka people make up at least one-third of the population are to be designated key developmental areas for Hakka culture by the Hakka Affairs Council, and Hakka is to be used as one of the main languages for communication.
Such areas should strive to bolster the teaching and speaking of Hakka, as well as the preservation of Hakka culture and related industries, the amendment said.
Townships in which Hakka people comprise half the population should make the language their primary method of communication, with relevant regulations to be determined by the council, the amendment said.
A minimum percentage of civil servants in such areas would be required to take Hakka-language examinations, and those who pass would be given an official accolade and exam results would be considered when awarding promotions, the amendment said.
All levels of government should reward exceptional efforts in promoting Hakka language and culture with recognition and awards, the amendment said.
The government is to establish a “Hakka-language research and development foundation,” which would be tasked with research, development, certification and promotion of Hakka nationwide, the amendment added.
The foundation is to establish an archive on Hakka language and should cooperate with local governments, it said.
A Hakka public broadcasting foundation, which would produce national radio and TV programs on Hakka affairs and other matters, should be founded, it said, adding that the government should offer subsidies to broadcasters that create programs in Hakka or on Hakka culture.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chung Kung-shao (鍾孔炤), a Hakka, yesterday said that the act exists not to encourage confrontation, but so that all groups would have their own subjective existence in Taiwan.
All ethnic groups can continue to live in Taiwan together in blissful harmony, he added.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Wu (吳志揚), also a Hakka, said that governmental action regarding Hakka people and the continuation of their culture still fell short of expectations, despite the council and the act.
Wu said he had proposed the amendment and hoped its passage would help preserve Hakka culture and serve Hakka people.
Hakka is a word of Cantonese origin, meaning “guest” (客家). Some genealogies and other records indicate that many of the ancestors of Hakka people were from the northern plains in China and that they moved south in a series of migrations, including to Taiwan.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on